Swamp of Sorrows

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For the pre-Cataclysm zone and associated lore, see Swamp of Sorrows (original).
For the Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Orc campaign mission of the same name, see The Swamps of Sorrow (WC1 Orc).
NeutralSwamp of Sorrows
Level: 40 - 60
Battle Pet Level: 14 - 15
Swamp of Sorrows TAoW.jpg
Major settlements
Minor settlements

Eastern Azeroth

PvP status

The Swamp of Sorrows (also once known as the Swamps of Sorrow[1]) is a contested territory in the southern part of the Eastern Kingdoms. Among its murk-ridden marshes stand settlements built by the orcs, humans, and goblins, as well as the ancient troll temple of Atal'Hakkar.

The Swamp of Sorrows.


Splinterspear Junction.

Far distant from civilization, the Swamp of Sorrows is a stagnant marshland of sucking bogs and weeping trees. The ocean seeps into the fen, making the water brackish and ideal for alligators and crocolisks. Salt deposits encrust fallen logs and protruding rocks. Bog beasts slog through the interior. Despite these dangers, the Horde has taken advantage of the region's distance from Stormwind to establish a colony in the zone. A flight of green dragons guards the Lost Temple, or Temple of Atal'Hakkar, an ancient troll edifice that channels demonic energy and drives living creatures to madness and violence.[2]

The Swamp of Sorrows stands on the eastern side of Azeroth, east of Deadwind Pass, north of the Blasted Lands and south of the Redridge Mountains. Most of the swamp is dominated by nature. Wild beasts like crocolisks, spiders, and jaguars hunt for prey, while aggressive Murloc and Gilblin tribes populate the coast and nearby caves. Draenei led through the Dark Portal years ago, driven mad due to homesickness and transformed into Lost Ones, have settled in the northern swamps.

The orc outpost of Stonard, built during the First War and rebuilt under Thrall's rule, was until recently the only civilized town in the swamp. Though isolated from other Horde settlements, it has served as an important base of operations for the Horde's presence in this section of the continent, especially since the re-opening of the Dark Portal in the nearby Blasted Lands. Alarmed by the increased presence of Horde so close to their towns and cities, the Alliance have set up the outpost of Marshtide Watch to directly combat the Horde and push them out of the swamp.

Previously there were only two roads in, from Duskwood (via Deadwind Pass) and the Blasted Lands. With the newly settled goblin resort town of Bogpaddle in the northeast, a highway was built along the Redridge Mountains, allowing for fast transport from the Burning Steppes.


The swamp during the First War.

Originally, the Swamp of Sorrows was the northern part of an enormous swampland called the Black Morass. After the fall of the Gurubashi Empire, a renegade faction of trolls, the Atal'ai, fled into the swamp and built a large temple, the Temple of Atal'Hakkar. Ysera of the green dragonflight learned of their evil plans, drowned the temple into the largest bog, and sent several members of her flight to guard the ruins.

First War

Years later, in the southern part of the Morass, the Dark Portal was opened, and the Horde invaded the area. The orcs built two settlements and an outpost in the Swamp of Sorrows, respectively Rockard, Stonard and Kyross. These towns, and later Blackrock Spire farther north, were the Horde's main bases during the First War against the humans. During the war, Rockard and Kyross were destroyed and Stonard was severely damaged.

Second War

With the implosion of the Dark Portal during the Second War, the southern part of the morass was separated and transformed into the barren Blasted Lands. The implosion left some groups of draenei on Azeroth, forever changed by the disaster. Most of them went mad from homesickness and the separation from their land, transforming into the hostile Lost Ones. A small group, calling themselves Broken exiles, managed to escape that fate and struggle along.

The northern part of the Black Morass was named the Swamp of Sorrows, in honor of those who had died during the Second War, and the southern part was named the Blasted Lands.[3]

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

After the Warchief, Thrall, assumed command of the Horde, the old outpost of Stonard was rebuilt by the orcs to its former glory. Researchers have come to study and exploit ancient magical artifacts, as well as the abundant flora and fauna of the swamp.

Following the crash of the Exodar, some draenei arrived to help their broken cousins, staying neutral towards the Horde and building the small village of The Harborage.

After the Shattering, two new settlements were founded in the swamp: The resort town of Bogpaddle in the northeast run by goblins from Gadgetzan, and the human outpost of Marshtide Watch, set up to combat the increasing Horde presence in the area. The Alliance have begun taking an aggressive stance against the local Horde, starting by pushing for the destruction of Stonard. The Harborage at some point became hostile towards the Horde.


The swamp is aptly named, as water from the ocean estuary encrusts fallen logs and rocks with salt deposits. The road rises mere inches from the water, painstakingly built to allow travel through this wretched area. This stagnant land is made worse by the jaguars, the hulking bog beasts and the crocolisks, many-toothed beasts that lurk at the water’s edge waiting for travelers.[4]

The Swamp of Sorrows contains no raid dungeons or battlegrounds. The Temple of Atal'Hakkar (aka the Sunken Temple), an instanced dungeon for adventurers levels 50-60, can be found in the eastern part of the zone. Bogpaddle, north of the Sunken Temple, is a neutral goblin-operated town. The Horde's outpost of Stonard can also be found in this zone, as well as the Alliance's recently built Marshtide Watch. The Harborage is a small village of draenei broken who pre-Shattering used to deal with both the Horde and the Alliance, but have since become hostile to the Horde.

Maps and subregions

Map of the Swamp of Sorrows.
Map of the Swamp of Sorrows prior to Cataclysm.

WCOnH logo.png Warcraft: Orcs & Humans

Topographic map of pre-Cataclysm Swamp of Sorrows


Misty Reed Strand
Dungeon Name Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
Temple of Atal'Hakkar 50-56 5-man 3 to 5 hours

Travel hubs

Neutral Flight Paths from Bogpaddle
Alliance Flight Paths from Marshtide Watch
Horde Flight paths from Stonard
Alliance Flight Paths from The Harborage

Adjacent Regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Redridge Mountains Alliance 15 - 60 North By foot along the Redridge Highway.
Burning Steppes HordeAlliance 40 - 60 North Other side of the Redridge Highway.
Blasted Lands HordeAlliance 40 - 60 South By foot only.
Deadwind Pass HordeAlliance 55 - 56 West By foot only.

Notable characters

The Harborage built up after the Cataclysm
The Harborage
Main article: Swamp of Sorrows NPCs


Main article: Swamp of Sorrows storyline

Neutral Intro

Chapter 1: Bogpaddle

Adventurers of both factions were initially sent to Bogpaddle, a Steamwheedle Cartel settlement established shortly after the Shattering located on the northeastern edge of the region.[5] After arriving in Bogpaddle, the leader of the settlement Trade Baron Silversnap sent the adventurer on a variety of errands to maintain and secure the Cartel's presence there.[6][7][8] After Bogpaddle's immediate security was ensured, Silversnap sent the adventurer to assist Crazy Larry in determining who attacked their ships and retaliating.[9] Larry asked the adventurer to kill the gilblins that attacked their crew and return anything of value from the corpses of the fallen and their ship still parked in the bay.[10][11][12]

Chapter 2: Temple of Atal'Hakkar

After returning, Larry told the adventurer that Silversnap had dropped by and asked him to send the adventurer to their herbalist Baba Bogbrew[13] Baba told the adventurer that the murlocs and other aquatic creatures of the swamp seemed to be behaving strangely. The adventurer put some of the murlocs down[14] and traced the strange behavior to a Faceless One Hr'nglth the Lost in a nearby cave.[15] After the aberration was defeated, Baba sent the adventurer to speak to the green dragon Itharius who had visited her recently and was investigating the encroaching wind serpents from the Temple of Atal'Hakkar.[16] Itharius lamented that the Atal'ai trolls could easily corrupt and enslave him as they had corrupted other members of the Green Dragonflight. Because the mortal would not be susceptible to their methods, Itharius tasked the hero with recovering artifacts the the trolls used to corrupt the other dragons, which he would use to communicate with the adventurer inside the temple.[17] Itharius directed the adventurer through the temple to slay the leaders of the Atal'ai.[18][19][20][21] While Jammal'an the Prophet escaped, the defeat of the others provided Itharius the necessary security to enter the temple personally.[22]

Availablequesticon.png The story of Green Dragonflight and the Hakkari trolls continues with N [54D] The Heart of the Temple in the Sunken Temple.

Alliance Fork

Chapter 3: Battle of the Bloodmire

After the events in the Temple, Itharius asked the Alliance adventurer to warn their faction's nearby settlement Marshtide Watch of the threat still posed by the remaining Atal'ai trolls. Upon arriving at the fort, the adventurer was informed by Joanna Blueheart that there were more pressing matters--the Horde was rebuilding the town of Stonard to the South and the Alliance needed to remove the town from area. The adventurer was immediately sent off to the ongoing battle, killing many orc grunts and peons.[23][24]

As the battle escalated, the orc warlocks began to summon in ogres to assist their war effort. Blueheart ordered the adventurer to thin the ogres' numbers and close the gateways the orcs used to summon them to the battlefield.[25][26] Because of this, the humans gained the upper hand and were able to push into Stonard itself. The adventurer assisted the attack, crippling Stonard's defenses. Blueheart did warn the adventurer, however, that their goal was to cripple the village to make the orcs surrender, not slaughter and raze out of bloodlust or desire for revenge.[27][28]

Chapter 4: The Harborage

After the battle, the broken Holaaru asked the Alliance adventurer to slay some of the lost ones that had formed a village nearby and gather the valuable crystals they were hoarding.[29][30] Upon returning, Holaaru asked the adventurer to deliver the crystals to the draenei anchorite Avuun in the broken village of The Harborage nearby. Avuun had come to find a way to cure the broken of their affliction but was now watching over a sick friend and, Holaaru suspected, might be able to heal him with the crystals.[31] The crystals proved little use, so Avuun asked the adventure to gather a variety of reagents from the swamp to save his friend Magtoor.[32][33][34][35]

Ultimately, however, none of these remedies was successful and Magtoor's condition worsened. In Magtoor's final moments, the Prophet Velen arrived through a portal from the Exodar to comfort him and the grieving anchorite. Avuun was taken aback by the prophet's compassion to not only visit a single broken in his dying moments but to do so when the Prophet likely had so many other pressing matters to attend to. Avuun swore to continue his research in Magtoor's memory as Magtoor passed into the Light.[36]

Horde Fork

Chapter 3: Battle of the Bloodmire

After the events in the Temple, Itharius asked the Horde adventurer to warn their faction's nearby settlement Stonard of the threat still posed by the remaining Atal'ai trolls. Upon arriving at the town, the adventurer was informed by the town's military leader Ruag that there were more pressing matters--the Alliance was attacking Stonard unprovoked! The adventurer was immediately sent off to the ongoing battle, killing many human footmen and peasants.[37][38]

As the battle escalated, the human mages began to summon in knights to assist their war effort. Ruag ordered the adventurer to thin the knights' numbers and close the portals the humans used to summon them to the battlefield.[39][40] Nonetheless, the humans gained the upper hand and were able to push into Stonard itself. The adventurer assisted the defenders in driving the humans back, but the victory was likely only temporary.[41] Ruag suspected a new offensive would come soon and asked the adventurer to gather a report from his scout Neeka Bloodscar that might help in preparing for the next siege.[42]

Chapter 4: Splinterspear Junction

The Horde adventurer found Neeka at Splinterspear Junction to the Northwest in deathwatch over her mate Helgrum, evidently gravely wounded in a recent Alliance attack. Neeka begged the Horde adventurer to gather a variety of reagents from the swamp to make Helgrum's last moments less painful.[43][44][45]

After returning with these, Neeka asked one additional favor of the adventurer: to put down the beast Duskfang which Helgrum had sought to hunt in life but never had the opportunity to. If Helgrum's death was inevitable, the Beast's death would grant him to the opportunity to hunt it in the next world.[46] After doing so, the adventurer watched Helgrum insist Neeka be strong for him as he died.[47] Neeka resolved to be strong for his sake and sent the adventurer back to Ruag with her report on the situation in the East, but omitted any mention of the tragedy her mate had suffered out of desire to not burden Ruag with additional worries.[48]


Pool of Tears
Sunset near the Sunken Temple

Wild creatures

Purespring Cavern

In Warcraft III

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

Once a tribe of furbolgs stubbornly held its own against foul creatures invading the swamp. Unfortunately, they weren't able to hold out long. The tileset is called "Felwood".[49]

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

The Swamp of Sorrows is not for the faint of heart. Monsters thrive in this smelly bog, making travel difficult and unrewarding. There are few settlements and a lot of stagnant water with thriving beasts.[50] This swamp is a hunter's paradise. A person could make a sack full of gold with the hides, teeth and organs he finds in this area. Of course, separating these items from their owners is the trick.[51]


The Swamp of Sorrows is largely left out of Azeroth's histories, at least those written by the Alliance. Its proximity to the Dark Portal and its remote location from the Alliance, the Burning Legion and the Scourge make it a suitable place for the draenei and the orcs to settle. The Horde had to trek through the southwestern corner during their rampage across the continent and felt the need to set a stronghold there, Stonard. The draenei discovered that the northern swamp's remoteness suited them so they built Fallow Sanctuary.[52]

The only notable event that happened in the past is the amazing creation of the Lost Temple, the watertight demonic temple that houses something terrible. The Green dragonflight guards it closely to protect others from falling to corruption.[51]

A fledgling shaman's spell went awry and attracted the swamp's monsters, as well as some of the demons wandering north of the Blasted Lands, to Stonard. The draenei heard of the orcs' vulnerability and attempted to take advantage of this opening. Stonard was under siege, and the orcs needed all the assistance they could get to survive. Thy even accepted Alliance help if it was offered respectfully.[51]

People and culture

The people in this area, when you can find them, are different from most regions. While you know what to expect from the humans, the undead and even the orcs, surprises await in the swamp.

The orcs here are not only more reasonable than the ones you can find in the Burning Steppes, but they also seem smarter. Thrall had ordered them to make peace with the Alliance but since they did not welcome orcs in that continent, peace was difficult, but they did what they could. To the north you can find the vicious draenei who sequester themselves from outsiders, and the corrupt green dragons are to the east. The quiet marshes are apparently dangerous for reasons other than the sucking mud and the monsters.[50][52]


The swamp lies along Azeroth's eastern coast, bordered by the Redridge Mountains, Deadwind Pass and the Blasted Lands. No main roads run through the sodden lands, and there are few reasons to visit the place. Its sparse inhabitants include orcs of a different ilk than those from the Burning Steppes; some vile green dragons; and the draenei, mortal enemies of the orcs who also call themselves the Lost Ones.[50]

The murky region is humid and rains nearly all the time, almost as if it is a displaced part of Stranglethorn Vale. The ocean seeps into the swamp, making it a salty marsh. Massive, drippy trees rise from the swamp and encourage the air to hold in more moisture, making it as miserable as a rainforest.[50] The swamp is aptly named, as the water from the ocean estuary encrusts fallen logs and rocks with salt deposits. The road rises mere inches from the water, painstakingly built to allow travel through this wretched area. This stagnant land is made worse by the jaguars, the hulking bog beasts and the crocolisks, manytoothed beasts that lurk at the water's edge waiting for travelers.[52]

Settlements are few in this region, as the Swamp of Sorrows is a mostly forgotten area. The settlements that do survive here are populated with hardy people who wish not to be disturbed.[52]

Notes and trivia

  • The name Swamp of Sorrows is most likely an homage to The Neverending Story's The Swamp of Sadness, where Atreyu loses his horse Artax.

Patch changes

  • Legion Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Level scaling implemented, previous zone level: 52 - 54.


  1. ^ The Swamps of Sorrow (WC1 Orc)
  2. ^ World of Warcraft The Roleplaying Game, pg. 16
  3. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 184
  4. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 59
  5. ^ B [52] The Bogpaddle Bullet
  6. ^ N [52] Maliciously Delicious
  7. ^ N [52] Mostly Harmless
  8. ^ N [50] Croc-Out
  9. ^ N [52] Crazy Larry
  10. ^ N [52] Kill Gil
  11. ^ N [52] Can't Take It With Them
  12. ^ N [52] In with a Bang
  13. ^ N [53] Baba Bogbrew
  14. ^ N [53] Marshfin Madness
  15. ^ N [53] The Darkest Depths
  16. ^ N [53] The Dragon and the Temple
  17. ^ N [53] Pool of Tears
  18. ^ N [53] Legends of the Sunken Temple
  19. ^ N [53] Step One: The Priestess
  20. ^ N [54] Step Two: The Bloodletter
  21. ^ N [54] Step Three: Prophet
  22. ^ N [54] Blessing of the Green Dragonflight
  23. ^ A [54] Orcs and Humans
  24. ^ A [54] Lumbering Oafs
  25. ^ A [54] Tides of Darkness
  26. ^ A [54] Reinforcements Denied
  27. ^ A [54] Assault on Stonard
  28. ^ A [54] Cutting Supply
  29. ^ A [54] The Lost Ones
  30. ^ A [54] Draenethyst Crystals
  31. ^ A [55] The Harborage
  32. ^ A [55] Secrets of the Mire
  33. ^ A [55] Prayerblossom
  34. ^ A [55] The Purespring
  35. ^ A [55] Breath of Mist
  36. ^ A [55] Remember the Light
  37. ^ H [54] Orcs and Humans
  38. ^ H [54] Lumbering Oafs
  39. ^ H [54] Tides of Darkness
  40. ^ H [54] Reinforcements Denied
  41. ^ H [54] We're Under Attack!
  42. ^ H [55] Neeka Bloodscar
  43. ^ H [55] Secrets of the Mire
  44. ^ H [55] Prayerblossom
  45. ^ H [55] The Purespring
  46. ^ H [55] Last Regrets
  47. ^ H [55] With Dying Breath
  48. ^ H [55] Ruag's Report
  49. ^ 'Official Blizzard Warcraft 3 multiplayer maps from the game and its expansion.
  50. ^ a b c d Lands of Conflict, pg. 58
  51. ^ a b c Lands of Conflict, pg. 60
  52. ^ a b c d Lands of Conflict, pg. 59

External links